Council Looks At Festival Plans

By Kaileigh Deacon


At the City Council meeting last Thursday, the Council heard a proposal from the Chamber of Commerce to make changes to the International Festival Street Fair layout. The street fair is a vendor event that takes place all day during the Saturday of International Festival. Typically, the street fair closes off the lower section of Main Street from the traffic light at the intersection of North and Main all the way down to Jo’s Diner. The new proposal would extend the road closure into the next section of Main Street from the traffic light past D&G Auto.

The idea behind the change is to not only increase the space for vendors but also to allow one side of the street to remain free for businesses. The vendors would all be located on the same side of the street as the Triangle Park and municipal lots leaving the opposite side of the street open for the businesses that have store fronts to welcome customers. 

There were concerns from Police Chief David Randall about where the fair was to end and what it would mean in terms of traffic. The barricade would be just after NAPA and Rent-a-Center, not allowing a place for vehicles traveling down Main Street to turn around. The council unanimously accepted the proposed street fair plan with the barricade just before the D&G parking lot. 

The council was presented with a proposal from Tesla motors to put a vehicle charging station in Calais for electric cars. The proposal is for one station allowing one vehicle to charge at a time. After discussion about the cost of installation and maintenance on the station, and the fact that some chargers are going in at the Big Stop in Baileyville, the council declined the offer of the one charging station. 

The council also heard from concerned citizens about activity on Carson Road. There have been reports and complaints regarding the activity. The reports are that people who have no reason to be out on Carson Road and the smaller roads near there are loud and disruptive through the night. Joseph Ralph and his wife were at the council meeting to express their concerns. They said it was difficult with a small child to have noise so late at night, and that it was making them feel unsafe. In addition to noise issues there has been evidence that the people out there are setting fires, which poses a serious issue to the surrounding trees and homes in the area. 

Jim Porter agreed to meet with Ralph and Chief Randall about the possibility of getting some signs up around the area. Once the dirt side roads are more clear the police will be patrolling those as well. 

The city also set the 2018 paving plan for the city. The streets will include Whitney Street, Washington Street, Franklin Street, Steamboat Street and Stillson Street.  They also approved the Washington County Hazard Mitigation Plan as presented, the Sewer Abatement Request and the Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Proclamation. 

In old business the city awarded all the high bidders on properties that were out for bid while deciding to look further into properties that received no bids and what they would do with these properties. 

The Fire Department requested an expenditure from their CIP account. The money would be used to purchase new gear for the department. The old equipment would be repaired and reused for firefighters who don’t enter into burning buildings. Unanimously, the council approved the expenditure. 

Jim Porter was told that the City Building would not be a suitable location for the Calais Fiber Shelter. The fiber project requires a facility to house the equipment need for the utility. According to Porter the new location would have to house two facilities, one for the providers to have access to the equipment and the other that the selected maintenance person would have access to. Porter started looking into city-owned properties that would be suitable for such needs and after more research a suggestion will be brought before the council. 

The next city council meeting will be held on April 5th at the City Building.